Psychopomp is another of the many initial/proto game designs that Justin is musing over and playtesting, and he wanted to make sure it got into the scorching too. I had to think pretty hard about how to go into it, because it fits so strongly into a particular aesthetic and an existing set of variables, that I couldn't see any way to address it "on its own." So I took a risk, setting the whole conversation as a series of comparisons with existing games.
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Here's where I post about my current role-playing game design consulting, with the permission of the clients. Sometimes it's a text piece, sometimes it's video or audio. Sometimes it's a discussion, and sometimes it's a playtesting session. Check out the Testimony and What I Do items below to see what it's about.
- If you want to become a client, please click on the "Come into the Lab" link to contact me for initial discussion.
- If we agree it's a good fit, then the fee is $100 (~925 SEK; ~90 Euro) for three sessions.
I rarely get the chance to dig right into one of my most favored and preferred role-playing mechanics, the dice pool. Notwithstanding that I have yet to discover a reasonable description of what any such thing is, meaning, in a defining sense, applicable to various versions.
Justin and I shifted over to one of his other designs in progress, Origin, which has a nice values-based resolution idea and lends itself to "but that wouldn't be right" play among superheroes.
Part 1 (embedded below) goes right into my critique of one of his values-axes, i.e. a polarized spectrum, to address the perceived many/few or Trolley question as it applies to superhero stories.
You’ll see a mention in the video as well as in the comments to one of Robbie’s playtesting posts that I am staying a little hands-off with the Weighting Rooms consulting, which may seem like a “but isn’t getting hands-on the point” question.
Three of us gathered to play the newest rev
This has been a great consulting experience. Watch the way Dustin considers what I say about using the overall game/realm conflict as the rating for the power for replacement characters, internalizes it, but then completely makes it his own (and much better) by using the adversary's current "win" score instead.
Here's another discussion of Quella Volta Che, aimed at the nuts and bolts of "what happens" in play, due to player choices and statements. We couldn't have done this without the previous session which focused so intently on content.
Dustin was intrigued by my statements in our first consulting session about character improvement, as well as being suspicious that I would start maundering about relationships as reward enough. I was able to surprise him a little, and the discussion was able to expand quite sensibly into his more general design regarding character death.
Dustin isn't a naive game designer, having produced Synthicide and generally navigated modern publishing. He asked me how to promote a game which did not fit neatly into "trad or indie," "OSR or story game," or any other dichotomy which people presented to him. Which is a perfect opportunity for me to stomp upon those dichotomies with my hobnailed boots, both for him and as a general PSA.